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Fr. McGivney Miracle Approved

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Click image for Founder’s Day Article – Prayer for his Canonization

FATHER MCGIVNEY TO BE BEATIFIED!

On May 27th the Vatican announced that Pope Francis approved the promulgation of a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of the founder of the Knights of Columbus, Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, a Connecticut priest who served his flock during the pandemic of 1890, before himself becoming ill and dying of pneumonia.

The pope’s action means that Father McGivney can be declared “Blessed,” the step just prior to sainthood. An additional miracle attributed to Father McGivney’s intercession will be required for his canonization as a saint.

McGivney is best known for founding the Knights of Columbus in 1882. Nearly a century before the Second Vatican Council, his prescient vision empowered the laity to serve Church and neighbor in a new way. Today, the Knights of Columbus is one of the largest Catholic organizations in the world with 2 million members in North and Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe.

The miracle recognized as coming through Father McGivney’s intercession involved an unborn child in the United States who in 2015 was healed in utero of a life-threatening condition after prayers by his family to Father McGivney.

A date will soon be set for the beatification Mass, which will take place in Connecticut. It will include the reading of an apostolic letter from the Holy Father and the bestowing of the title “Blessed” on Father McGivney.

Earlier this year, in an address to the Knights of Columbus Board of Directors, Pope Francis said the organization has been faithful “to the vision of your founder, Venerable Michael McGivney, who was inspired by the principles of Christian charity and fraternity to assist those most in need.”

“Father McGivney has inspired generations of Catholic men to roll up their sleeves and put their faith into action,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said. “He was decades ahead of his time in giving the laity an important role within the Church. Today, his spirit continues to shape the extraordinary charitable work of Knights as they continue to serve those on the margins of society as he served widows and orphans in the 1880s. Father McGivney also remains an important role model for parish priests around the world and left us a transformative legacy of effective cooperation between the laity and clergy. “

Born of Irish immigrant parents in 1852 in Waterbury, Connecticut, Father McGivney was a central figure in the dramatic growth of the Church in the United States in the late 19th century. Ordained in Baltimore in 1877, he ministered to a heavily Irish-American and immigrant community in the then-Diocese of Hartford. At a time of anti-Catholic sentiment, he worked tirelessly to keep his flock close to the faith in part by finding practical solutions to their many problems – spiritual and temporal alike. With a group of the leading Catholic men of New Haven, he founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 at St. Mary’s Church to provide spiritual support for Catholic men and financial resources for families that had suffered the loss of their breadwinner.

The fledgling group soon became a major force in the areas of evangelization, charity, racial integration, and the defense of religious freedom.

Father McGivney spent his entire priesthood in parish ministry and died of pneumonia on August 14, 1890— two days after his 38th birthday – after falling ill amid a pandemic. Recent scientific evidence indicates that that pandemic – like the current one – may have been caused by a coronavirus.

Known by his contemporaries for his devotion to the faith and his embodiment of the characteristics of the “Good Samaritan,” his cause for sainthood was opened in the Archdiocese of Hartford in 1997. St. John Paul II – who was pope at that time – lauded Father McGivney’s principles, stating in 2003, “In fidelity to the vision of Father McGivney, may you continue to seek new ways of being a leaven of the Gospel in the world and a spiritual force for the renewal of the Church in holiness, unity and truth.”

In March 2008, he was declared a Venerable Servant of God by Pope Benedict XVI, who during his visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral cited the “remarkable accomplishment of that exemplary American priest, the Venerable Michael McGivney, whose vision and zeal led to the establishment of the Knights of Columbus.”

Two recent books also tell the story of Father McGivney and his legacy: Parish Priest (2006), his biography; and the The Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History (2020).

More information is also available at www.FatherMcGivney.org

Photos and other visual resources are available here.

FATHER MCGIVNEY TO BE BEATIFIED! On May 27th the Vatican announced that Pope Francis approved the promulgation of a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of the founder of the Knights of Columbus, Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, a Connecticut priest who served his flock during the pandemic of 1890, before himself becoming […]

Knights in World War II

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American Cemetery Normandy, France (photos: Gary Pappin)

Knights of the Second World War

Many distinguished Knights were recognized not only for bravery, but devotion to God.

D-Day is held annually on June 6 each year to help us remember the sacrifice our men and women made on June 6, 1944 in the battle fought on the Normandy coast of France during World War II.

“Patriotism is a core principle of the Knights of Columbus — which is why, after Nazis invaded Poland and after Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, K of C members were among those fighting for freedom. In total, more than 75,000 Knights served and many of them were recognized not only for their gallantry and bravery, but also their compassion and devotion to God.”

The Knights of Columbus recently published an article featuring a few of the many distinguished Knights who served during World War II (you can read the entire story on KofC news hub).   Here are some highlights from that story:

First Lt. Gerry Kisters, a member of Bloomington Council 1096 in Bloomington, Indiana, served in the Sicily campaign during the war.  For his “unhesitating willingness to sacrifice his life,” he received the Medal of Honor — the highest honor in the military.

Capt. Willibald Bianchi, a member of St. Patrick’s Council 1076, posthumously received the Medal of Honor after he led a group of U.S. troops and Filipino scouts to eliminate two enemy machinegun nests.

On August 19, 1942, Lt. Sam Junkin, a member of Council 1034 in Natchez, Mississippi, became the first American fighter pilot to gain a victory in air combat over Europe. For that, he was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Father Francis Sampson served as the 101st Airborne Division’s chaplain. He was one of the thousands of paratroopers part of the Allied Invasion of Normandy —D-Day — and tended to the wounded. For his efforts, he was nominated for the Medal of Honor and received the Distinguished Service Cross. His friendship with Sgt. Frederick Niland — another paratrooper and Knight — would later inspire Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan.

We remember these Knights and all who served their country, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  Special thanks to Andrew Fowler, author of this K of C article, for compiling this information.

 

Knights of the Second World War Many distinguished Knights were recognized not only for bravery, but devotion to God. D-Day is held annually on June 6 each year to help us remember the sacrifice our men and women made on June 6, 1944 in the battle fought on the Normandy coast of France during World War […]

Respect Life Crosses

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The urgency of the threat to a culture of life cannot be misunderstood. respect for the dignity of life demands a commitment to human rights across a broad spectrum. Both as Knights of Columbus and as followers of Christ, “Catholics must be committed to the defense of life in all its stages and in every condition” (St. John Paul II, 1995).

The Knights of Columbus defends the dignity of each human being at every stage of life. Knights work together to build a culture of life and a civilization of love.  During this Covid-19 pandemic we have all witnessed how precious the gift of life is.

Just because we are not holding physical meetings, does not mean that our work cannot continue. Two of our Knights, Dave Stimek and Frank Esposito, saw a need, and brought it to the planning meeting for project approval. Every Fall, we place wooden crosses on the berm of St. John’s.  This is in conjunction with the 40 Days for Life campaign.  The crosses we use were beginning to show wear and they volunteered to replace them.

The entire project took about 50 hours, including picking up the wood, paint, and other supplies and setting up the workspace at the parish.  Dave cut the wood and assembled the crosses.  Since the parish center was not being used for any functions, it became the site of the paint shop.  Dave setup tables covered with tarps, and Frank applied primer and paint.   Dave cleaned up the parish center and put the crosses away for safe keeping, until they will be brought out and displayed on the parish grounds. Thanks to them, we now have over 180 new crosses which will be displayed on the parish grounds.

While these crosses will be a physical reminder to all.  You do not need to wait until the Fall to join us in praying for the dignity and protection of all life.   Thank you, Dave and Frank, for your efforts here.

The urgency of the threat to a culture of life cannot be misunderstood. respect for the dignity of life demands a commitment to human rights across a broad spectrum. Both as Knights of Columbus and as followers of Christ, “Catholics must be committed to the defense of life in all its stages and in every […]

St. John’s Partially Reopen

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ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST CATHOLIC CHURCH NOW PARTIALLY REOPENED

Dear Parishioners,

Beginning on Saturday, May 23rd, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church is now partially reopened as follows:

St. John the Evangelist may now conduct Baptisms, Funerals and Weddings for up to 10 people. Arrangements must be made by contacting the Parish Office. PLEASE NOTE THAT NO ONE WILL BE ADMITTED TO CHURCH WITHOUT A MASK.

Reconciliation for up to 10 people at a time will be offered as follows:

Wednesdays from 7:30 am until 8:30 am and from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Saturdays from 11 am until 12:30 pm. No registration is required, but the 10 person limit will be strictly followed. (Please follow the directions of the Greeters stationed to help you safely receive the sacrament. Once the 10 person limit is reached, you may be asked to return at another available time.)

The Church will be open for private prayer by REGISTRATION ONLY and is limited to 10 people at a time. Please limit private prayer to 3 times per week until we see how the demand goes. We want to try to allow as many people as possible to pray. We will try to expand availability as we go. (Again, please follow the instructions given by the Greeters to help us all stay safe as we reopen our church.)

St. John the Evangelist will be open for private prayer as follows:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 7:30 am until 9:30 am. and from 2:30 pm until 4:30 pm.

Saturday from 7:30 am until 10:30 am and Sunday 9 am until 1 pm.

Please Register here for private prayer: Sign Up!

ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST CATHOLIC CHURCH NOW PARTIALLY REOPENED Dear Parishioners, Beginning on Saturday, May 23rd, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church is now partially reopened as follows: St. John the Evangelist may now conduct Baptisms, Funerals and Weddings for up to 10 people. Arrangements must be made by contacting the Parish Office. PLEASE NOTE […]

The First Easter

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Our Field Agent, Crispin Jones, shared this in our May Business Meeting.

A short essay has made its way around the internet over the past month.  It spoke to me and I would like to refer to it and the comparison of these last weeks.


The very first Easter was not in a crowded worship space with singing and praising.  On the very first Easter the disciples were locked in their house.  It was dangerous for them to come out. They were afraid…If they left their homes their lives and the lives of their loved ones might be at risk.

Alone in their homes they dared to believe that hope was possible, that God’s love was the most powerful…Eventually, they were able to leave their homes, when the fear and danger had subsided.  They went around celebrating and spreading the good news that Jesus was risen and love was the most powerful force on the earth.

This year, we might get to experience a taste of what that first Easter was like, still in our homes daring to believe that hope is on the horizon.  Then, after a while, when it is safe for all people, when it is the most loving choice, we will come out, gathering together, singing and shouting the good news that God brings life even out of death, that love always has the final say!

This year we might get the closest taste we have had yet to what that first Easter was like.


Although the author is unknown, it’s a sobering thought to remember that the disciples were worried, scared, hiding alone…”sheltering in place.”

Perhaps being with our loved ones for this extended period of time has opened your eyes a bit.  I know it has opened mine.  What’s really important in my life?  What are my priorities?  What are my opportunities to serve…to love?

As we pray for a return to our normal lives let’s pledge to not let the lessons of these past weeks be forgotten when we return to the hustle and bustle of “normalcy.”

Vivat Jesus!

Our Field Agent, Crispin Jones, shared this in our May Business Meeting. A short essay has made its way around the internet over the past month.  It spoke to me and I would like to refer to it and the comparison of these last weeks. The very first Easter was not in a crowded worship […]